If a young adult book series gets popular enough, it usually earns a lot more than just a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Namely: Some kind of controversy. Now, at least according to one researcher, hit series like Harry Potter and Twilight may be encouraging the kiddos out there to curse.
Be it alleged "satanism" in Harry Potter or "misogyny" in Twilight, the big hits always have their fair share of critics. But according to Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne, the biggest problem with these popular novels is a lot more obvious than themes and storylines: Harry and Bella are giving our youngsters potty mouths.
Coyne surveyed 40 books on the adolescent bestseller list and found an average of 38 swear words per novel—approximately seven swear words per hour at the average teen reading level. For a kid, Coyne says that kind of exposure to foul language can have a lasting impression.
"Unlike almost every other type of media, there are no content warnings or any indication if there is extremely high levels of profanity in adolescent novels," Coyne said. "Parents should talk with their children about the books they are reading."
Sound off: Do you think the language used in young adult novels is an issue, or just a part of the language used to tell the tale?